Quintana undeterred despite run of tough luck

White Sox have scored one or no runs in his past seven starts

Quintana undeterred despite run of tough luck

CLEVELAND -- If Jose Quintana had words to describe the brutally tough luck he has been pitching in since May 14, they would probably be of the four-letter variety.

But that's not the style featured by one of the most respected players in the White Sox clubhouse. So after producing his 11th quality start this season Friday night in a 3-2 loss to the Indians at Progressive Field, Quintana didn't focus on the 54th no-decision picked up since he became a starter in 2012.

He didn't focus on a seventh straight start in which the White Sox offense scored one or no runs behind him. He didn't focus on the five total runs the offense has scored in those seven, with six going for losses.

Instead, he talked about getting better for the good of the team.

Quintana avoids broken bat

"You know, I hope that it changes," said Quintana, who struck out six over 7 2/3 innings and gave up two runs. "I just try to get it going next start. I believe that changes.

"It's not for me, it's for the team. Just here to try to do my job and keep the games close and the team can take the games especially against Cleveland. This year, it's really important for us."

Quintana allowed one run in the first, but basically cruised into the eighth during a duel with Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer. Michael Martinez opened the frame with a single, and one out later, Jason Kipnis ripped a 0-1 fastball into the right-center-field gap to score Martinez with the go-ahead run.

One mistake among 111 pitches. In the world of low support that is Quintana's, it's one mistake too many.

"That's frustrating for us, too, probably more so because we all love him to death," White Sox catcher Alex Avila. "He's an amazing person, works his [butt] off and he's always going out there giving a great effort and always pitching a quality game. It's definitely frustrating."

"He's always been like he is, even-keeled guy," reliever and losing pitcher Nate Jones said. "No matter what happens in his starts, he's always cheering for the team, rooting for the guys, the offense, the defense, everybody. The bullpen. He's a team guy first. It's tough to see him go through it. But it's amazing to see how he's handled it and just being the team guy that he is."

One-out doubles from Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia against Cleveland closer Cody Allen in the ninth took Quintana off the hook. If the White Sox could have scored that second run earlier, it might have given Quintana a chance to end his six-decision losing streak.

"I keep telling him there's going to be a day where he wins one of those games 2-1 and then before you know it, he'll get five, six runs in his starts," Avila said. "I'd rather that happen sooner than later."

"Everybody thinks he deserves better," manager Robin Ventura said. "But as a teammate, he is as well respected in there as anybody."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.